Cadillac Ranch

Album: The River (1980)
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Songfacts®:

  • The Cadillac Ranch is a collection of 10 Cadillacs buried hood-first in a wheat field near Amarillo, Texas. Visitors are allowed to add graffiti to the cars, which are considered works of art.
  • This is one of many early Springsteen songs featuring cars. Some others were "Thunder Road," "Backstreets," and "Racing In The Street." Bruce used the Cadillac image again in 1984 on "Pink Cadillac."
  • Springsteen wrote this to energize his live shows and balance off the ballads on The River.
  • A live favorite, it is included on the box set Live 1975-1985.
  • Junior Johnson is mentioned in the second verse. He was a NASCAR racer in the '50s and early '60s before becoming a championship car owner. He won the second Daytona 500 in 1960 and was one of the first people to discover the drafting method of racing at the super speedways. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Bristolville, OH
  • Cars were very important growing up in New Jersey. Springsteen's first car was a '57 Chevy with orange flames painted on the hood.
  • A photo in the program for the Born In The U.S.A. tour shows Springsteen at the Cadillac Ranch.

Comments: 9

  • Jim from Long Beach, CaGreat song and always a show-stopper at his shows when played..
  • Gregory from Buena Vista, CoBruce wrote an especially good 'car song' at a time when they had been omitted from Pop/Rock Music for several years...the verse "...Junior Johnson bombin' through the woods of Caroline..." refers to Junior running moonshine in his souped up Ford, the precursor to NASCAR racing. James Dean and Burt Reynolds get mentioned as additional 'Gearhead' idols. Dean, of course, died in his Porsche sports car, while Burt made a ton of money, along with Pontiac, from his black Firebird TransAm in the 'Smokey & the Bandit' movies.
  • Pat from Albuquerque, NmI drove by the real Cadillac Ranch two weeks ago and stopped to take a couple pictures. It's still just off I-40 west of Amarillo TX near a Love's truck stop. The cars are covered with paint, and two high school girls were adding even more paint to the west most car while I was there.
  • M.j. from Calgary, Abnot to take away from bruce springsteen as a singer but the nitty gritty dirt band version is 10 times better then his.
  • Pat from Albuquerque, NmBrian--I think Bruce has said that, with the exception of songs about Patti Scialfa and Julianne Phillips, all the girls/women in his songs are fictional and aren't based on anyone.
  • Darrell from EugeneChris Le Doux recorded a country song called "Cadillac Ranch" in the late 1980s, but it was about opening a bar on an old cattle ranch instead of death and dying. It has nothing in common other than the gender of the singer and the title.
  • Sheldon from Toronto, CanadaRead a bit deeper into the lyrics..The cadillac ranch is a burial to "dead" cadillacs. The song is a simple statement of death and how we are all going to meet at the cadillac ranch ....
  • Brian from Meriden, CtVery cool. I wonder if the "little girlie in the blue jeans so tight, driving alone through the Wisconsin night" was anyone in particular.
  • Kyle from Belleville, CanadaLove this song. I want to hear it live one day. I think i'd go crazy lol
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